The Congress president, who was invited for the lunch, had sent a letter of regret, sources said. Ill health was apparently the reason cited by Gandhi for not being able to attend the lunch, the sources said.
Later, Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi declined to go into the reasons behind Gandhi's absence at the lunch saying “media should stop reading grand plans or conspiracies into trivial non issues.
“These are normal exigencies found in the course of state governance and administration. There could be 101 reasons for absence and she is not obliged to provide explanation and reasons,” he said.